On July 27, 1989, Past District Governor Hal Barton, Griffin Club President Larry Stover, Sid Esary, Allen Marshall and Billy Reeves met following the regular noon meeting of the Griffin Rotary Club. Mr. Barton was the District Governor’s Special Representative and was charged with forming several new Rotary Clubs in the District. The purpose of his visit was to request assistance from the Griffin Rotary Club in forming a new club in the Pike and Upson county area. The group agreed to consider the request and to meet again on August 10 after reviewing the requirements.
On August 10, 1989, the Griffin Rotary Club agreed to sponsor a new club. The group became the Extension Committee, and Allen Marshall was elected chairman. Both Pike and Upson counties were included in the initial area, and the committee set out in obtaining recommendations of potential members.
On October 12, 1989, Tom Wilkins and Martin Grizzard of Thomaston visited Griffin for another meeting with the Extension Committee. By this time, the committee had become convinced that a combined Upson-Pike club was unlikely. There was too much distance and too little in common between the two counties. The committee agreed to concentrate its efforts in Thomaston and Upson County.
On November 21, 1989, the first meeting in Thomaston was held at 7 pm at the Golden Corral restaurant. Attending from Thomaston were Billy E. Eubanks, Thomas Jackson, Martin Grizzard, T. Paige Holloway, Woody Miller, Eugene Williams, and Tom Wilkins. PDG Hal Barton from Marietta also attended. Attending from the Griffin Club were Sidney Esary, Allen Marshall, and Billy Reeves. The Thomaston members were requested to invite other prospective members to the next meeting.
The ninth meeting was held on February 19, 1990 in Thomaston at 12:30 pm at the Golden Corral restaurant. Joining the regular extension committee members were new member Rosser Raines. Upson County members included President Thom Wilkins, President- Elect Tom Jackson, Treasurer Carol Ford, Secretary Lucinda Bentley, Bill Elkins, Daniel Brinks, George Moore, Daniel Stevens, Mike Self, Carole Gibson, John Broadnax, Jane Harness, Steve Keadle, Charles McDaniel, Ron Nordan, JoAnn Hollstron, Greg Nossett, and Vivian Griffin. Hal Barton presented the Club as a gift from District 6900 with an American Flag with a staff and stand. He also recommended that, with the number of regularly attending meetings, the Thomaston Group apply for provisional status as a Rotary Club. The Griffin Rotary club agreed to pay the application fee of $1 per charter member as a gift to the Thomaston Club. Chairman Allen Marshall presented the completed forms and a area map to Past District Governor Hal Barton. The official name of the club was to be The Rotary Club of Thomaston-Upson County.
May 4, 1990, District Governor Fred P. Culbreth notified President Tom Wilkins that the Rotary Club of Thomaston-Upson County had been admitted into District 6900.
Charter Night was held at the Hotel Upson on June 13, 1990 with Tom Wilkins presiding. The invocation was given by Ronald Nordan, and Tom Jackson introduced visiting Rotarians. Guest included District Governor Fred Culbreth, PDG Hal Barton, Griffin Club President Larry Stover, and Extension Committee Chairman Allen Marshall. Then Governor Culbreth presented Tom Wilkins with the so called lost Charter. Tom explained that since the Iron Curtain had fallen, there was a mad dash to get new Charters made for new Rotary clubs starting in the eastern block countries; therefore, Rotary did not have the certificate ready for Charter Night. Overall, Allen Marshall was extremely excited because he did not think it was possible to start a Rotary Club in Thomaston because of the strong presence of the Lions Club and the Kiwanis Club.
Donnie Basilici Brenda Holston Greg Nossett
Lucinda Bentley Thomas Jackson James Reddick
Robert Braxton Herbert Langland Katherine Robinson
Daniel Brinks Larry Leigh Richard Round
Johnnie Caldwell, Jr. Ricky Lomax Michael Self
William Elkins Charles McDaniel Richard Singer
Carol Ford George Moore Daniel Stevens
Carole Gibson James Nalley, Jr. Richard Voss
Jane Harness Ross Newton Thomas Wilkins
Thomas Holloway Ronald Nordan Terry Williams
President Thomas Wilkins
Vice President Thomas Jackson
Secretary Lucinda Bentley
Treasurer Carol Ford
Sergeant-at-Arms Thomas Holloway
James Nalley, Jr.